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Recruiting and Maintaining Participants

In order to establish and maintain participation, rural diabetes programs must factor in sociocultural, economic, and geographic differences within populations as well as participants’ interest and engagement levels. This requires innovative and accessible program models that support both community interests and needs.

  • Participant Recruitment:
    • Recruitment channels should be contextually and culturally appropriate so participants feel comfortable from the initial encounter with the program.
    • Recruitment venues include clinics, community health centers, pharmacies, recreation centers, local businesses, religious centers, and schools.
  • The type and location of advertisements should be tailored to grab the attention of the targeted population. Possible methods for advertisements:
    • Print media
    • Radio
    • Television
    • Word-of-mouth (provider and participant referrals)
    • Internet/online and social media
  • Program materials should be easy to read and culturally appropriate. Documents should be translated as needed by a community member to ensure the translations make contextual sense.
  • Allow participants the ability to set their own goals alongside program staff. This will make goals appear more obtainable for the participant. Choosing a limited number of goals can help participants stay engaged without making them feel overwhelmed.
  • Involve local leaders – their support will establish program rapport in the community and help to garner continued commitment to program goals.
  • Allow programs room to adapt to changing community needs, so the program can continue to be relevant.